Slideshow of L.A.'s top Jews from the Celebrate Israel Festival!
Pinpointing what makes people so passionate about Israel is no easy thing, perhaps because there are so many options.
You know you’re getting old when every meal starts and ends with an admonition about how food will kill you.
The story of the upcoming Israeli elections, which will take place on Jan. 22, can be written in many different ways. One is with an eye to the small numbers, a story of preserving the political status quo: Back in 2009, the Kadima Party got 28 mandates.
There can’t have been more than half a dozen of them. Crowded as usual near the railings of St. John’s church graveyard in the center of town, the Côr Cochion (Reds Choir) were known of old to shoppers in Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, where I still live and work.
Spending a week in Florida on the eve of a presidential election has become a habit for me — one I cherish. Meeting the elderly women who suddenly become interested in politics; attending synagogues, to which the candidates flock in droves to speak.
Considering the history of the Jewish people, the fact that Jews are still celebrating the High Holy Days today is a miracle in itself. Strong traditions and lasting rituals have enabled Jews to survive the most threatening periods of history. With the freedoms we have as modern American Jews, it makes sense that we use these same traditions and rituals to enjoy holidays to the fullest. As a chef and registered foodie, the best way I know to relish in the upcoming holidays is by making really delicious food.
Early on a recent Wednesday morning, architect Brenda Levin bounded up the metal steps temporarily installed at the center of the historic sanctuary of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Leading the way up 10 flights — that’s 100 feet — she climbed to the normally inaccessible domed ceiling, high enough to touch the enormous Hebrew letters circling the oculus' opening.
On Dec. 31, when the Barnes & Noble at the corner of Pico and Westwood boulevards closes its doors for the last time, the “people of the book” and everyone else who lives on the Westside of Los Angeles will move one step closer to becoming the “people without a bookstore.”
A mural of shadowy black silhouettes covers the wall with just one splash of color: a solitary red man. As the jazz-era-style mural stretches along the length of the restaurant, it follows the red man as he meets a lone red woman, and they end up sharing a table ... and a drink. The painted walls illustrate the overall theme of The Rack, an eclectic Woodland Hills eatery designed with the kind of intimate atmosphere that makes it an ideal meeting place.
On the last day of a Birthright alumni mission to Israel last year, participants got a taste of something that was not a part of their initial trip to Israel: a fundraising pitch.
There are nearly 500 people waiting for a bed at L.A.’s largest senior living facility, the Los Angeles Jewish Home. Waiting, in many cases, for someone to die.
In a back booth at Canter’s, Seth Rogen is digging into his matzah ball soup with gusto as his close friend, screenwriter Will Reiser, sips a glass of club soda.
It happens most Friday nights. I close my laptop, pack stray work-related thoughts into my mental filing cabinet and begin to decompress for the weekend, when an insistent pang starts tugging at my brain. Something, I’ve long felt, is missing.
You’re getting sleeeeepy. Verrry sleeeepy. Then — bam! — it’s all over, and you’ve delivered a baby.
If it’s happening in the San Fernando Valley, chances are Karen Young knows about it. Not only that — she’s probably already been there, chatted with the bigwigs and written up a whip-smart recap for her thousands of online readers.
Zionism is like democracy. Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other kinds, and the same can be said, on its 63rd birthday, of the State of Israel. The Zionist project, in 2011, may be shot through with thorny problems, but it is still the best answer to the question it was designed to resolve, the so-called “Jewish Question.”
Sunday afternoon at the Kohan home is one of those classic portraits of familial bliss: Children are screaming, singing and scurrying about, clamoring for attention, eager to play, while the adults assembled in the kitchen are trying to have a coherent conversation. Clearly, a tall order.
At a quarter to 7 in the morning, 32-year-old Israeli financier Dovi Frances pulls up in his nightshade Mercedes Benz — a fitting color since it’s still dark outside — on his way to run a company meeting in Santa Barbara. When the passenger door opens, a blast of hip-hop music shatters the early-morning quiet, the driver buoyant with the beat pounding his luxury-vehicle-cum-mobile-nightclub.
While local news broadcasters debated the West Coast repercussions of the Japanese earthquake, Radio Kol America’s Dudi Caspi, sitting with headphones and a microphone at the station’s North Hollywood studio, posed a different question: Could a tsunami hit Tel Aviv?
Better late than never, but not much better. How else can one respond to the belated retraction by Judge Richard Goldstone of the key allegations in the outrageous report he authored into Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorists in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009? Blatantly dishonest and biased, what became known as the Goldstone Report served as the most vicious instrument of defamation and delegitimization against the Jewish state for decades. It gave heart to terrorists; it gave hope to anti-Semites; and it gave every twisted calumny against the State of Israel a new lease on life.
Thirty-two: That was the deadline, and Danit was sticking to it. That was the age, she’d decided, when she would finally heed her maternal impulse – husband or not. Danit (not her real name) had always known motherhood was her calling. For years, she worked at her mother’s day care center in Israel, relishing the chance to surround herself with children. But after a long-term relationship ended in a failed marriage, she found herself in her early 30s, alone and facing some grim truths. Her dream of a fairy tale family was slipping further and further out of reach.
More than the storm sweeping through Tunisia in January, February’s events in Egypt leading to the stepping-down of President Hosni Mubarak stunned the world. Thirty years of autocratic rule came down in a matter of 18 days.
Let’s hear it for lemonade stands! Forty-two percent of entrepreneurs surveyed in a study said their first business venture was during their childhood.
I met Robin on Passover in 2000. We were both crossing a busy street in Beverly Hills carrying covered dishes, my 6-year-old was holding on to the edge of my skirt, and I asked if she was going to the same seder we were. It was my first Passover in Los Angeles, and now I realize it was a ridiculous question given the thousands of seders happening, but it turned out we were heading to the same house.
It’s the same routine every year: To plan the obligatory Valentine’s Day date, you and your significant other run through a list of restaurants you haven’t tried and movies you haven’t seen. This year, why not shake things up? Share the occasion with someone who also loves you unconditionally and always knows how to show you a good time — your best friend. Here are some ideas for places to go and things to do with your bestie.
Amy “Tiger Mother” Chua might want to cover her ears right now because clinical psychologist Wendy Mogel has a message for parents that would likely send Chua into one of those shrieking fits she reserves for her daughters’ subpar piano practices, or a verboten A-minus. Here goes: Your teen may not be a genius-entrepreneur-athlete-altruist-artist. He will probably experiment with drugs, drinking and sex. The small stuff — like rudeness, irresponsibility and utter obliviousness to the effort and money you put into his well-being — will test you daily.
Letters to the editor
Each Christmas, Barri Evins and a group of volunteers give away thousands of books at Head Start magnet centers throughout the Los Angeles area. At each center, volunteers greet each child individually, ask them their age and then present them with a brand new book especially selected for them.
Bobbi Fiedler, who rode an anti-school busing platform to political prominence, stood out as the potential vanguard for Jewish conservatives when The Jewish Journal profiled her as its first cover story in February 1986. The Journal recently caught up with the still-active Fiedler, 69, between civic activities.
Of all the Jewish holidays, none is so firmly rooted in the home and so joyously celebrated with song as Passover. This simple fact would lead you to expect an avalanche of Passover records, but this year the avalanche is more like a mild rain of pebbles, at least in the quantity department.
Admit it. Don't you feel just a little uncomfortable on Purim night, beating the tar out of Haman, shouting him down, cheering ecstatically at his demise? Doesn't it bother you just a little bit that the same tradition that encourages us to spill drops of wine at the seder in memory of suffering Egyptian slave drivers also encourages us to drink ourselves silly while hanging Haman and drowning out the very mention of his name?
Pedersen said that since anti-Danish rioting began, several people have called in long-distance orders and mentioned their desire to "buy Danish." Consumers in heavily Muslim countries, in contrast, are boycotting Danish products, reportedly costing Danish business up to $1 million a day. In response, European and American free-speech supporters have been advocating a less well-known "Buy Danish" campaign.
Fending off a hailstorm of Israeli criticism -- as well as a possible showdown with Washington -- Russia insisted it only wanted to help tame Hamas.
Ten ways to begin greening your synagogue from Barbara Lerman-Golomb, associate executive director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life:
This week's cover story celebrates not make-believe angels, but real live ones.
Rosen recognized that he ruffled too many feathers to be out front. So he groomed protégés to assume that role. He mentored one so well that he became the head of AIPAC; another became the first Jew to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
Letters to the Editor
Together with Jason Hardy and Henry Harpending of the University of Utah, Gregory Cochran is publishing in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Biosocial Science a paper that not only suggests that one group of humanity is more intelligent than the others, but explains the process that has brought this about.
The group in question is Ashkenazi Jews. The process is natural selection.
Feathery palm trees, swaying dancers, and butting rams are untraditional focal points in the contemporary Jewish papercuts of artist Deborah Heyman.
In reinterpreting this nearly lost, venerable Jewish folk art tradition, Heyman, of Irvine, finds inspiration and content for her own creations in the personal upheavals and simple pleasures of a modern life.
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor.